Poco X3 Pro vs F3: What’s the difference?

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(Cybertech) – Poco launched two major devices at its 22 March 2021 event: the Poco X3 Pro and the Poco F3. Don’t let the ‘X’ and ‘F’ slip past your eyes, though, as these are two different devices – it’s not just a case of ‘Pro’ and not.

Indeed, the X3 Pro is actually a little lighter on specification compared to the F3, despite the latter not needing to adorn itself with a ‘Pro’ appendage. Here’s how the flagships differ and which might suit you best.

Design

  • X3 Pro: Phantom Black, Frost Blue, Metal Bronze
  • F3: Arctic White, Night Black, Deep Ocean Blue
  • Both: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • X3 Pro: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm / 215g
  • F3: 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8mm / 196g
  • X3 Pro only: 3.5mm jack

Of the pair the X3 Pro is the larger device – and you can feel that in the hand for sure (we have one in for review). That’s down to the battery capacity, by and large, which is more capacious in the X3 Pro than the F3.

Neither handset offers an in-display fingerprint scanner, as side-positioned scanners – doubling-up as the power button – seem to be increasingly becoming the norm. Of the pair, it’s only the X3 Pro that offers a 3.5mm headphones jack – it’s wireless only for the F3.

Display

  • X3 Pro: 6.67-inch DotDisplay panel
    • FHD+ resolution
    • 120Hz refresh
    • 450 nits
  • F3: 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay panel (E4 type)
    • FHD+ resolution
    • 120Hz refresh
    • 900 nits

To say that both handsets have a 6.67-inch display is only half the story. Because the F3’s screen has a Samsung ‘E4’ panel, meaning it’s far more luminescent as a result – which is why, as you can see from the figures above, it’s said to be twice the brightness of the X3 Pro.

Both offer a 120Hz refresh rate for smoothness, while resolution is Full HD+ – so 2400 x 1080 pixels – for a fair sharpness, even if it’s not flagship grade QHD+ for either model.

Hardware

  • X3 Pro: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 platform, 4G/LTE only
  • F3: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 platform, 5G capable
  • X3 Pro: 5,160mAh battery, 33W charging
  • F3: 4520mAh battery, 33W charging
  • Both: 6GB/8GB RAM options

The X3 Pro is the first handset to offer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 860 platform. This is almost identical to the last-gen 855+ – same number of cores, same clock speed, same graphics – but without an X50 modem and, therefore, it’s 4G/LTE only – no 5G.

That’s where the F3 differs: it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 platform, which isn’t just more powerful than the 860 is every regard – higher clock speed, more graphics potential – it also has the X55 modem for 5G connectivity options.

As we said prior: the X3 Pro has the much larger battery, but it’s also the far larger handset. As much as it’s going to last longer than the F3 – on account of the capacity, processor choice, and 5G – we would still take the F3 each time on account of its more sensible scale and weight.

Cameras

  • X3 Pro: Quad rear cameras:
    • Main: 48-megapixel, f/1.79 aperture, 1/2in sensor size
    • Wide-angle (119 degrees): 8MP, f/2.2
    • Macro: 2MP, f/2.4
    • Depth: 2MP, f/2.4
  • F3: Triple rear cameras:
    • Main: 48-megapixels, f/1.79 aperture, 1/2in sensor size
    • Wide-angle (119 degrees): 8MP, f/2.2
    • Telemacro: 5MP, f/2.4, autofocus

Surprisngly there’s no ultra-resolute cameras to be found on either device. We thought that Xiaomi might endow the Poco line with a 108-megapixel main camera, as it has with the Redmi Note 10 Pro, but the 48-megapixel main unit on both the X3 Pro and F3 is still plenty resolute enough. It’s one and the same on both devices too.

Where the two products differ is in volume of cameras – but it’s a case of less is more here. The F3 delivers a triple camera unit, with a wide-angle and telemacro lens – which we’ve seen before on the Xiaomi Mi 11. There’s no depth sensor as it’s just not needed. The X3 Pro, meanwhile, is actually less ‘pro’: it’s got the same wide-angle lens, plus a basic low-res macro lens, and an unnecessary depth sensor to make up the numbers.

Conclusion

  • X3 Pro: from €249
  • F3: from €349

It’s a case of comparing apples and oranges when positioning the X3 Pro and F3 against one another. Of the two, the F3 is the higher-end device – despite no ‘Pro’ appendage appearing – thanks to 5G connectivity, greater processing power, a smaller scale and design, plus brighter screen and more sensible cameras arrangement.

If you want more battery life, don’t care for 5G, and are looking for a more affordable handset then the X3 Pro is the more appealing option of the pair. But given how well priced the F3’s starting price is, it’ll surely be hard to not be tempted.

Writing by Mike Lowe.





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